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Helpful tips while awaiting your child’s school assignment

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Students run to class at George Washington Carver Elementary School in the Bayview. (Jessica Christian/2017 S.F. Examiner)

If you are a parent or guardian of a student who applied to a school in the San Francisco Unified School District for next fall, you may be eagerly awaiting news of your child’s school assignment — and you’re in good company.

Last Friday, the Educational Placement Center mailed offer letters to the 14,705 students who applied for a school by the January deadline.

MOST GET THE SCHOOLS THEY REQUEST
A majority of families are receiving the news that they hope to hear. This year, 85 percent of all applicants received one of their choices, up from 81 percent last year. Even more kindergarten families, 89 percent, received a school they chose.

While many families will be excited and relieved, some will wonder why they didn’t receive any of their choices. The answer is a matter of supply and demand: Some schools are extremely popular and just don’t have enough space for all the parents who list the school as a choice.

In the event that there is more demand than available seats, the SFUSD uses a series of tie-breakers. These include where a child lives, if he or she has a sibling at the school and other factors.

REGISTER AT YOUR ASSIGNED SCHOOL
Whether or not you’re happy with your school offer, I recommend you take these steps next.

Go ahead and register at your assigned school. Be sure to bring your offer letter and other documents listed in your letter when you go to register. Even if you hope to switch, registering at your assigned school guarantees your child has a spot somewhere, in case your other choices don’t become available.

The deadline to register at your assigned school is April 6. Registering for a school doesn’t affect your chances of getting a higher choice school. But if you don’t register, chances are the spot at your assigned school will be offered to someone else.

WHAT IF I WANT A DIFFERENT ASSIGNMENT?
Visit your assigned school — even if it wasn’t a top choice. Just from speaking with families, I learn that many come to love their assigned school after getting to know it better.

If you still want to apply again for a different assignment, attend a workshop to understand what your options are. Those interested in applying to another school can submit an Amended Application by April 6 to the EPC office at 555 Franklin St. Our counselors can guide you through the process of finding additional choices.

IF YOU GO: School Assignment Workshops
When: Wednesday, March 21, 5 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, March 24, 9to 10 a.m.
Where: 555 Franklin St.
Info: www.sfusd.edu/enroll

Vincent Matthews is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

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